Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Conversation With Jane Lynch...

On Saturday, hot off her double Emmy nomination, Jane Lynch took the stage at the DGA Theater to be honored as part of Outfest's annual screening festival. The comedic genius and newly married out and proud woman spent an unprecedented hour and a half-- that she called a "big, blowhard brag fest!"-- answering questions from the moderator and from fans and colleagues in the audience, and in true Lynch form, she kept things light and humor-filled, even while chatting about her childhood, her early, more meager days as a working actor, and what she considers her performing shortcomings.

Here are some of the best soundbytes from the afternoon:

"I do well when I'm on my own-- not when I'm told what to do." -- an odd statement for an actor to admit!

"I got quite the reputation in high school-- for being a quitter. I was cast in the drama production of The Princess and the Pea as the king-- just the first in a long line of being given male roles. I quit about two weeks in and joined the tennis team. No one in that play wanted to be an actor more than me, but I convinced myself I couldn't do it for some reason."

"I wanted to be in the Brady Bunch when I was a kid!" -- Years later, Lynch would get her wish when she performed in a tongue-in-cheek live stage version of the actual episodes.

"I had a crush on Ron Howard. He was that non-threatening, all American good old fashioned boy. Well, maybe I didn't have a crush on him, but I wanted to be him!"

"When I was twelve I began writing and sending letters to agents, and after I had sent out about half of them, my mother told me to stop. She said people don't get what they want in life; it was like that Rolling Stones song! And she didn't say it to be mean, but she knew this didn't happen for most people."

"I did some of my best acting work in therapy!"

"My family's not particularly funny so the bar wasn't set very high."

"We were a true ensemble...a creative family, and they're not people I call up all of the time, but whenever we see each other out at events, it's like a gob stop to the heart!" - Discussing her Christopher Guest comedy buddies.

"I did what I had to do, you know what I mean? I did sleep with all of the right people!"

"Sometimes I would be driving home and I would go 'Aw! They didn't use any of that, and it was brilliant!'" - On all of the adlibbing on a Christopher Guest set.

"They don't want a woman but can handle that woman!" - On the response her agent gets when calling casting offices to ask if they'd consider Lynch for what was originally written as a man's role.

"I don't play people with arcs! I show up for a minute or two, so it's nice to be a person!" - Discussing her small roles in films like Role Models when compared with Sue Sylvester on Glee.

"There's a very "can do attitude" and you work on your feet. Everybody's eager and positive. It's my favorite way to work. The less the budget, the more the fun!" - On why she works on so many short films "for free and for fun."

"It's against my nature to say no; if they want me, then I better be there. Sometimes later you look back and think 'Oh I should have said no to that one' but that's how you learn. Nobody was asking me to do porn, but I probably would have said yes."

"You're allowed to be gay as a character actor. America doesn't seem ready for gay ingenue or romantic lead. Well, maybe not America but studio executives."

"I know it was a big deal for her. I knew she wanted to meet me, and she may have been nervous, but you know, I'm not responsible for her feelings." - Joking about what it was like to work with Meryl Streep.

"They can't be pains in the asses and do what they do. There is too much need for focus and discipline." - On the Glee kids' work ethics.

"We're bringing in a new Christian character. She's going to be a sweet girl who everyone loves and can give Rachel a run for her money, but she'll have a problem with Chris' character, so it will be interesting to see how that is handled. But the one thing Ryan said he would never do is make Chris a victim." - On season two of Glee.

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